Wal-Mart's more than 11,000 retail locations across 27 countries provides the company's U.S. division a testing lab stretching across five continents, according to Wal-Mart International CEO David Cheesewright. Joking to the crowd gathered during an Oct. 15 investor conference, Cheesewright noted that he was the third speaker of the day who has English as a foreign language. To that point, the world has become smaller and more connected via technology. Retail is at the center of that change. Changes seen in the global markets often make their way back to the Bentonville mothership, he said.